In what can only be described as a playoff atmosphere, the St. George’s Hawks snapped Odessa’s 10-game win streak Tuesday night in boys hoops action.
The night began with students from Old State Elementary singing the National Anthem. Then Blair Thomas of the Hawks converted two free throws as Odessa dunked the ball during warmups, drawing a technical foul. The early two point lead increased to 8-2, prompting Odessa first year head coach Andre Wilburn to call a timeout. Point guard Jordan Earl responded as he scored 4 points, created two turnovers and passed to Henry Nysagare for an easy layup to tie the game at 8-8. Earl scored 8 of the Ducks 16 points as the quarter ended with St George’s holding a lead of 17-16.
The Hawks dominated the “glass” in the second quarter and raced out to a halftime advantage of 32-25. At one point St George’s took the largest lead of the night at 31-22 as Emory Womack poured in 8 points late in the second quarter. Head coach Rod Griffin told us, “we talked about keeping the pressure on them on their floor in this playoff atmosphere.”
Odessa came out inspired to open the second half and closed to 43-42 on a pass from Earl to Tyshawn Wilborn for a contested basket in the paint. The third quarter came to a close with the Hawks up by one possession at 41-38.
The largest crowd to attend a game at Odessa this season went wild when Earl created a steal, went the length of the court and made a basket drawing contact and converted the “and one”. That gave Odessa only its second lead of the night, 45-43 with 3:30 left. However, the Ducks would not score again.
Kionne Lang and Joshua Obiora both made a foul shot, while Emory Womack scored three points at the end to push the lead to 48-45. Odessa attempted a few long range shots in the final :38 but could not convert.
The 7th ranked Ducks suffered their first loss of the season, falling to 10-1. Jordan Earl led the way with 14 points. Jaylen Bernikow and Tyshawn Wilborn scored 9 points each.
St George’s won its third straight game to improve to 8-5. Womack scored a game-high 21 points while Thomas Blair chipped in with 10.
In his post game interview, coach Griffin told us, “I think we’ve turned the corner a little bit. If we keep playing hard, I feel our best basketball is ahead of us.”
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